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This is my first post, but I've trolled the AVS Forums for years and this is the first time I haven't been able to search and find a solution to my particular problem.


I'm the semi-proud owner of a new Panasonic 50PZ80 TV. Unfortunately, I've encountered a large problem in using it with my HTPC. Currently I have a Windows MCE box that I have hooked up to the HDMI 1 port with a DVI-to-HDMI cable. If I turn the screen on, then power up the computer, the image loads and everything displays fine and great. (I do love the picture, by the way.) If however, I turn on the PC before I turn on the TV, the TV will fail to recognize the video signal, and will flash an error code on the power light. (I'm not sure the exact code, but I believe it flashes 10 times.) The problem with this is that I cannot have the PC on beforehand or leave it running and then turn on the TV.


I contacted Panasonic technical support about this. Their somewhat knowledgeable (but rather rude) staff informed me that this has to do with the fact that the "TV was not made to be used as a monitor.", and that this was a, "known issue." I pried a little more and I was told the following that I will try to summarize to the best of my ability:


I was told that the HDMI 1 and 2 ports (on the back of the TV) are different than the HDMI 3 port (on the front of the TV). I believe they said that port 3 was unbuffered while the other two were buffered. (This could be vice versa.) They suggested that I try to hook the PC up to port 3 and the PC may work there. I did so, and they were right, I can turn the TV on and off with the HTPC plugged into port 3. They went on to say something about a "3.3V signal" that from what I could interpret was used to tell the TV to wake up or sync up.


Naturally though, with my sleek new TV that is very cleanly wall mounted with no visible wiring, leaving a PC attached through the front panel is not an acceptable solution. This leaves me with four options that I have come up with in an attempt to remedy my situation:


1) The HTPC that I have is (admittedly) somewhat old. The graphics card in it is a GeForce 6800GT AGP. It has two DVI outputs on it. I was already planning on upgrading my HTPC sometime in the near future, and in doing so, I was going to either get a motherboard with onboard HDMI or a video card with native HDMI. Is it possible that this will fix my problem? My assumption is that in going with a video card or motherboard with native HDMI, it will be HDMI standards compliant. I am assuming that conformance to these standards will address the issue that I am having. Again, this is an assumption, I don't know if it will work.


2) Purchase an AV receiver that handles HDMI switching. It is my hope that the AV receiver will be able to handle the DVI-to-HDMI cable and output the necessary (buffered or unbuffered, whichever is correct) signal to the normal HDMI 1 and 2 ports.


3) Purchase an HDMI switcher that may perform the same task as the AV receiver. Although I would only have one device attached, I hope that the switcher will be able to provide the necessary "wake up" signal to the TV.


4) I've seen it recommended to try Gefen's DVI Detective to remember the EDID. I've heard it resolves "handshake issues" which it sounds like what I'm having.


Also, one of their suggestions was to use an HDMI to HDMI adapter (a union, basically) which I just can't fathom how that could possibly work. Its just a 1:1 adapter from all I can tell and I can't see how that's any different than just using a DVI-to-HDMI cable.


I'm sorry for the long winded post, but I'm completely stumped. I searched the forums' tome of knowledge and couldn't find anything that fit my particular problem. Thanks in advance to all who can provide input.


Dustin Earnhardt
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Is there anyone who can help me? I'm really bummed out about the purchase of this new TV and it not working properly with my HTPC.
 

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Dustin,


Thank you so much for your post. You couldn't have described my problem and sentiments any better. I am also a semi-proud owner of a Panasonic 50PZ80U who would like to plug my HTPC into port 1 or 2. I didn't know until yesterday that port 3 would work. Ever since I purchased the system back in March I've been having to unplug the HDMI cable, turn on the TV, and then plug it back in. I'm sure the pins are nearly worn out by now. I even had a repair tech come out and replace one of the boards. It has been a horrible experience being torn between my desire to use (and to show off) the HTPC system and the embarassment of having to explain to family and friends why I can't just turn it on.


Having learned from you and a few others that port 3 actually solves the problem is bitter sweet. The HDMI cable sneaking out underneath my otherwisly clean wall mounting and into the perpetually open front panel is a constant reminder that Panasonic (or NVidia or both) screwed up at my expense.


Of the four potential solutions you've listed, I like the idea of replacing my otherwise fine video card on my HTPC with one that won't have the problem. The catch is that I don't want to purchase a new video card (or any hardware for that matter) unless I'm reasonably sure the problem will go away. Not knowing which video card will work for sure has thus far kept my wallet closed and the problem ever present.


Again, thank you for your post. I don't have to tell you how frusterating it has been to find any information about this particular problem. Just having found someone with the same problem has been a huge relief. If and when you find any more information about what you do to solve the problem, please e-mail me at rleddington at thebluezone dotnet.


Regards,

Ray
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Ray,


There's even better news! As of last weekend, I've somewhat solved the problem!


The only down side is that I had to go through two of the other options first in order to find the solution. Thank goodness for return policies!
I tried the Gefen DVI Detective. It didn't work at all. Nor did the video card with the HDMI port. I didn't try an HDMI switcher, but I'd be curious to know whether it would work or not. A powered one has the potential to work, though a dead one I'm quite certain will not. Since my fourth option was available right down the street, I figured I'd try that before I hassled with another online return.


I bought a "cheap" receiver from Best Buy, a Sony STRDG520. It was on sale for $170 when I got it. It has an HDMI pass through that I'm using (the PC is hooked up to the Blu-Ray Player port) and I no longer have to worry about what order I turn on any device. PC, TV, Receiver: doesn't matter. They all start up just fine.


Basically, the receiver is sending the (for lack of a better term) initialization signal to the TV now, instead of the computer. The receiver has no problem with when or how the PC turns on.


Note though, that if you do go this route, you're going to need to use an optical or SPDIF output for sound to the receiver. From what I've read on the Amazon reviews, this is primarily a quirk with this particular receiver. Higher end receivers will pass audio over the HDMI cable, but this one does not. For me, this required the purchase of a sound card with an optical output, which I handily picked up from Newegg for ~$15.


Again, its more than I wanted to pay to fix this problem, but the cable hanging out of the front of the TV was just simply not an option. Plus, this way I can always upgrade to surround sound later on if I want.


If you have any more questions, I'd be happy to try and answer them, but I think I've summarized most everything you need to know.


Take care,

Dustin
 

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I have a Panasonic Plasma and a New HTPC i just built with a ATI 4870 HDMI port and I have the sleeping HDMI port issue. If I power up the PC and turn the TV to HDMI2 it works if I go to HDMI1 one for a while and go back to the HDMI2 port it has fallen asleep and the only way to get the PC back to display is a reboot.... Do I really have to buy a reciver to fix this... I just bought this plasma about 3 months ago! Ugh ....
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Unfortunately, I found no other solution. This is still the method I'm currently using.


I did end up building a new HTPC with an onboard HDMI port, but I have yet to check out whether or not its susceptible to the sleeping HDMI port issue since I've actually grown to like the receiver. The speakers on the TV are not the greatest as it is.
 

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I posted this in the other thread too but the receiver route DID NOT work for my Panasonic HDMI problems.


I have to have the HTPC plugged directly into HDMI (HDMI 2 in my particular situation) for it to work, which it does without fail.


If I go either into the Monoprice HDMI switch (then into the Receiver) or directly into the Receiver I get nothing but a flashing HDMI light.


To be honest, I think this is a problem with the HDMI path on my receiver as it's been a bit flaky from jump but I'm not sure.


I have the Sapphire 4670 in case it's relevant.
 
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